According to recent reports, the Graduate Center of the City University of New York has handed down a decision that will force its staff to ditch certain honorifics when addressing others. The new policy prohibits the use of “Mr., Mrs. or Ms.” due to their potentially discriminatory characteristics.
CUNY Interim Provost Louise Lennihan distributed a memo touting the “respectful, welcoming and gender-inclusive learning environment” the new policy will help preserve, explaining the absence of these titles serves to “accommodate properly the diverse population of current and prospective students.”
— Lisa Scherr (@BBUMH) January 28, 2015
While another university source suggested the policy shift was part of the school’s compliance with federal law, however, at least one expert in anti-discrimination legislation confirmed no such policy is required.
“They are not mandated to do this,” attorney Saundra Schuster said.
Regardless of legal requirements, though, CUNY staff members took the memo as a direct order to curtail the use of certain gender-based titles.
“My interpretation was that I was being asked to adhere to this policy,” said professor Juliette Blevins, “as were the professors who received the letter.”
Another CUNY professor, Joseph Borelli, indicated that he is open to embracing whatever titles his students prefer, though he opposes limiting speech with this restrictive policy.
“If a student asked me to call him Godzilla, I would happily call him Godzilla,” he said, “or whatever anyone asked to be called. But we do not need another ultra-PC policy change.”
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom